Reviews of music shows I've been to. Maybe you've been there too…

Spoon @ Lincoln Theater (9/4/14)

Live music is great. Much like comedy, music is just that much better in a communal atmosphere. Whether I’m at a giant arena or a tiny club, listening to rock or reggae or jazz or hip-hop, it takes very little for me to enjoy a show. All I need is a slight shove in the right direction to get me there.

What got me to see Spoon at the Lincoln Theater on September 4 was a combination of the large amount of buzz that had been generated by the release of their eighth album, They Want My Soul and the prospect of going to a brand new venue, one that I had walked past dozens of times but never actually been inside.

Because of the novelty factor, this concert became much more about ambiance than music, meaning I was unlikely to walk away a converted Spoon fan (barring a legendary performance). I therefore entered the Lincoln Theater more as an observer than a music fan, analyzing the building’s architectural details and noticing minute features. The Lincoln was clearly designed for plays rather than music, with rows of seats, great sight lines and high ceilings. A semi-rounded stage allows bands to make great use of the building’s killer acoustics and aesthetic capabilities.

Appearing for a third straight night at the Lincoln, Spoon started the show slowly, despite receiving a rapturous reception. Spoon at Lincoln TheaterThe band lurched between ballads and up-tempo raves, showcasing several synth-pop-inspired new songs that failed to excite a real passion in the crowd. The show didn’t properly kick into gear until “The Underdog” was played midway through the set, which finally threw off the bland atmosphere of serenity that had been pervasive throughout the theater.

In spite of the uneven set list, the band displayed a well-honed musical interplay, kept up by numerous instrument exchanges between the individual band members, who bounced between different arrangements on guitars, keyboards and percussion. A vivid, colored lighting display that projected silhouettes onto screens from various angles was just as visually engaging. Meanwhile, the crowd did their best to keep the energy in the venue up, though the theater’s rigid seating setup prevented anything too wild from happening.

Spoon saved crowd favorites like “Knock Knock Knock” and “The Way We Get By” for the two encores, which excited the crowd to the point of dancing up and down the aisles. By the end, everyone seemed satisfied, if not completely exhilarated. Me included.

Set List

  1. The Beast and Dragon, Adored
  2. Rainy Taxi
  3. Rent I Pay
  4. Don’t You Evah
  5. Small Stakes
  6. Inside Out
  7. My Mathematical Mind
  8. Outlier
  9. The Underdog
  10. Everything Hits at Once
  11. They Want My Soul
  12. Don’t Make Me a Target
  13. I Just Don’t Understand
  14. I Summon You
  15. Got Nuffin
  16. The Fitted Shirt
  17. You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb


  1. Knock Knock Knock
  2. Was It You?
  3. Do You

Encore 2:

  1. The Ghost of You Lingers
  2. I Turn My Camera On
  3. The Way We Get By

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